Nick Kyrgios is set to face 7th seed Tommy Paul in the Round of 16 of this clay-court championship
Nick Kyrgios has begun his ATP clay-court season with the Houston championship. This event marks the beginning of his preparations for the all-important clay court tournaments that lie ahead. It serves as a perfect warm-up opportunity for upcoming tournaments like the Monte Carlo Masters and the second Grand Slam of the year – the Roland Garros. Kyrgios defeated American Mackenzie McDonald 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to set up a clash against the seventh seed Tommy Paul in the next round.
Kyrgios has been in decent form leading up to this tournament. In the Miami Open, he notched up top wins against seeded players like Andrey Rublev and Fabio Fognini showing signs of promise but eventually fell short against Jannik Sinner in the Round of 16.
Meanwhile, Tommy Paul was in the middle of an intense encounter in the first round against Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk when his opponent was forced to withdraw with an injury. As a result, Paul won the tie 6-7, 7-6, 3-2 by default. Paul is placed 34th in the ATP rankings and seeded 7th in this event – definitely one of the players to watch out for.
Can Nick Kyrgios get one over Tommy Paul?
This is going to be Kyrgios and Paul’s first-ever head to head encounter on the ATP circuit. On paper, Paul is clearly the favourite as one of the higher-seeded players in the tournament. Kyrgios will face an uphill task to get past the American. However, given the form Kyrgios is in, we expect this match to be a three-set thriller with the Australian eventually coming out on top.
Nick Kyrgios has a 61% win percentage on clay surface which is a good success rate. However, Kyrgios prefers playing on hard courts, where he has a higher win percentage. On the other hand, Tommy Paul’s favourite surface quite evidently is clay. The American has a win percentage of 67% on clay courts which is better than most of the players in the circuit.
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